Look Fantastic

September 24th, 2020

Interested in purchasing an anti-aging serum from beauty brand Bioeffect, a TINA.org reader did what billions of people do every day. She Googled it.

The first search result for “Bioeffect EGF Serum” was a Google ad from online retailer Look Fantastic, she said. It advertised 15 percent off Bioeffect products with promo code “15FANTASTIC.” What could go wrong?

Google ad appearing in search results for “Bioeffect EGF Serum.”

Our reader found the product she was looking for on the Look Fantastic website and entered the code at checkout. It didn’t take.

“The coupon code you entered is invalid or not applicable to the contents of your cart,” an error message read.

She initiated a live chat to get some answers. But instead of honoring the Google ad or revealing some previously undisclosed exclusions, Look Fantastic said it had nothing to do with the ad’s creation. She said she was told that the code was part of Google’s e-commerce business and “not affiliated with Look Fantastic.”

But as our reader correctly pointed out in her submission to TINA.org, that’s not how Google ads work. Advertisers pay Google for placement in search results, not the other way around. Not to mention Google’s “Why this ad?” feature makes clear that the ad, which is still active, is from lookfantastic.com.

TINA.org reached out to Look Fantastic for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on deceptive Google ads here.

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